In June 2006 Parallels launched its desktop virtualization product for the Apple market, Parallels Desktop, winning an impressive number of customers.
At that time Microsoft was retiring its Virtual PC for Mac and VMware was considering the Apple market just a niche.
Another year had to pass before VMware could release a competitive product: Fusion.
At that time, despite the immense popularity of VMware in the Windows and Linux words, Fusion couldn’t move a high number of customers away from Parallels.
Now, two years and a half later, the Parallels advantage may be fading away: ArsTechnica mentions a NPD analysis where VMware Fusion has 53% retail market share in North America against 44% of Parallels.
The number of Parallels Desktop copies around anyway may be much higher: Parallels informs that MacMall gives away a copy of its product for free with every Mac sold.
Thanks to this the company the company claims a 56% market share.
Nonetheless the fact that VMware gained so much ground in just a couple of years is impressive.
One reason seems to be the weak Parallels Desktop 4.0 release, which didn’t deliver groundbreaking new features despite the long development time, and which was plagued by several bugs (immediately corrected by Parallels with a quick build refresh).